Microsoft needs to pull finger

This has been my feeling from the get go. I love free, but at the same time no company like MS is going to put any priority to something that does not generate revenue.
[/quote]Google didn’t give away million bucks worth of Raspberry Pies because they are nice guys, they are looking for spill over effect of students building Raspberry Pi apps/devices to their Android phone etc.

For Microsoft, every kid who starts writing Raspberry Pi code is another future coder who might not build Microsoft apps and its software which drives this industry. This is a battle for the hearts and minds of developers, and the more software dudes you can get in the game, the more hardware they are going to use. I think Gadgeteer is a much better and more powerful platform then Raspberry Pi as its a better mix of hardware and software standards, but if people only hear of one platform it doesn’t really matter does it. Coding isn’t nearly as easy as everyone thinks and so coders go with the dog they know and the prospect of having to learn a different dog isn’t really all that appealing no matter how bad their existing dog is as most companies don’t have any sort of training time/resources in their budget so coders are pretty much have to train themselves on their own time and dime. Why Gadgeteer, because its .Net and that matters, however we are in need of a reason and that is based on money. I’m thinking IoT and devices are coming and so there could be money to be made, but how do we show that, how do we show this is more then a long term hobby?

For example the current expectation is in 2015 the FAA in the US will approve unmanned drones in domestic airspace and even the FAA predicts that 10,000 commercial drones will be operating in the US within 5 years, who is going to build those? Why are people going to use them and what will they do with them? Sounds like change is coming and does that sound like money to be made?

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I agree 100%, If learning Linux was as easy as .net i would simply buy a beaglebone board and be done with it, doubt i would ever need anything more than that.
Since .net is very easy to get started and work with along with VS, makes it no contest. I does blow my mind that .netmf has not had more popularity that it presently does.
I am confident it will get there, just dont know why its taking so long.

My major pet peeve with Linux based embedded devices like the PI is the time to boot.

The typical embedded solution would suffer from a 30 second boot time.

the answer is easy, companies use it and don’t like to advertise it, afraid from competition, since it’s so easy to use :slight_smile:

Yes a million times! It is so easy that it is almost cheating!! I heard this many times from customers. They do not want thier competitors or customers to know about netmf nor GHI!

Well they aren’t going to like me very much then as my personal mission right now is to promote Gadgeteer as I cringe every time I see a Raspberry Pi or Arduino project as I think to myself ‘no one gets bonus points for doing stuff the hard way’.


I believe you hear that, but its hard to believe people would say something idiotic like that.
If a customer asked me whats it running and they said .netmf and they resounded with Ewwww… I dont know if i like that can you use something else. I would say sure, what would you like assembler which you can kick up the quote 4x or maybe Java, then we can kick it up 3x , or possibly C/C++ then we can kick up the quote 2x. .netmf is the fastest way to develop software. Not to mention a walk in the part when that coder quits out of the blue and another has to fill his spot. the time to get the new guy up to speed is far faster with .netmf than any other.

So it your call MR. Customer.

Gadgeteer is an extremely hard sell in the face of the RPi, which is essentially a mainboard with more power than any existing microcontroller has ever dreamed of, a video-out module (including HDMI, which isn’t even an option for Gadgeteer), and an ethernet module all for $35. The only real hardware limitation is that it is short on “sockets”. It has I2C, however, so port expanders are cheaply available.

On the software side, it’s much different. There’s no Gadgeteer (if that’s actually a limitation…), but there are all sorts of other easy-to-use tools, from low-level all the way to high-level. Unless you are incapable of developing software without the aid of a visual designer, there’s probably something you could work with.

I haven’t given up my Cerberus yet, though, and I don’t plan to. There’s something about working very close to the metal that is quite satisfying.

One super sad (or happy, depending on which side of the fence you sit on) note is that you can get an RPi + 10-inch capacitive touchscreen for $170 or so. You don’t have a visual designer, no, but you also didn’t pay $320 (Spider+CP7).

Here are two of my many problems with the Raspberry Pi, first its being sold under a false premise, that its an affordable computer to open the world of computing to kids when pretty much every household already has a computer and the majority of people buying Raspberry Pies aren’t kids, but already tech knowledgeable adults (ie geeks), so in a sense the funders of this organization have been sold a false bill of goods as what they intended funding was for, isn’t what it produced, not even close. Given you can get Visual Studio Express versions for free, GCC tools for free, etc, etc, etc, if you already have a computer, why would you need a Raspberry Pi? A some point the funders of Raspberry Pi are going to realized they have been had and withdraw their support, but by then Raspberry Pi will be self sufficient, thank you very much.

Second I’m not so sure that there is a shortage of IT personal for two reasons. First people entering the work force grew up with computers and know how to use them and second age discrimination is a problem in IT so if there really was a shortage of IT personal, then age wouldn’t be a problem (training is however a huge problem in IT).

I think Raspberry Pi is somewhat a wolf in sheep’s clothing as it is operating under a disguise of being something else for some other reason. As for if its a good platform for whatever, that is debatable as well.

I don’t think this is the place for a political debate on what Raspberry Pi is or is not, so the only thing I’ll say is, is it the foundation’s fault they created something highly interesting to hobbyists, tinkerers, and techies?

Is this a Raspberry Pi conspiracy theory?

Is Raspberry Pi the predecessor to SkyNet? The Cylons? An attempt by open source advocates to take over the world?

Ultimately I think its clear that Raspberry Pi isn’t a charity, or if it is a charity, its operating in the wrong space so lets treat it as a company so it competes on equal footing with other companies operating in this space to begin with.

For what it’s worth I know a number of people both inside and outside the tech world who know about Raspberry Pi, most of them aren’t familiar with its capabilities but they’ve heard the name and that it’s really cool and nerdy and blah blah blah. I’ve never met anyone who’s even heard of NETMF or Gadgeteer. Something the Gadgeteer community can and should be doing is giving presentations at maker clubs, .NET user groups, etc. so it has more of a presence. This is how most of the better Microsoft technologies got going.

Many of us here on this forum do that. However, this isn’t how RPi became popular. It became popular due to free press. How do we get tech reporters to write about NETMF/Gadgeteer? That’s the big riddle.

Send them a free kit with large LCD already doing something neat.

I would like to see a Gadgeteer booth/desk at each MS show/conference.

Two years ago MS had a booth at Tech Ed demonstrating NETMF and the easy, cool things it can do. Last year nothing. We’ll see if they make another effort this year.

Probably would help if they’d just update the web site. Under showcase / products they still list Domino, Panda ( not II) and Mini. No mention of any of the Gadgeteer systems.

They need to hire @ Duke Nukem as an official Gadgeteer Evangelist.


Agreed. This is how I initially found out about NETMF at PDC 2009. The rest as they say is history…

I have kicked around the idea of presenting Gadgeteer at TechEd etc, but lots of people here are doing lots of cool things with Gadgeteer we just need to share the goodness. I must admit I’m sick of the press etc that Raspberry Pi gets, but good for them they know how to milk the system and we can milk it too and likely easier as we actually have killer stuff to show. I’ve done a couple of startups and I know you can have the best technology in the universe, but if you don’t market it, your screwed. What did Hack-A-Day do for Gadgeteer, well that video picked up a thousand views, nice start but need to do better and bigger.

If anyone has suggestions as to what sites, magazines etc Gadgeteer needs to be seen in, email me at mcneillb at and I’ll see if I can target a few of them and see if we can increase our exposure. Gadgeteer does rock and if we really believe that, then we need to share that.